June 25, 2021 7 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! This past week had both highs and lows for anglers. If you fished out East for Stripers, you probably did very well. If you trout fished anywhere other than a tailwater, it was probably tough. The rivers are warming and it is getting late in the season. The Stripers are headed East. Rhode Island, Montauk, The Cape, and Nantucket are all fishing very well. Read on for more...
The Cape is fishing extremely well. There are plenty of slot and sub-slot fish in tight to shore, making it a great time to fly fish from the beaches. The larger Bass will be offshore in deeper water congregating around rips and drop offs. Early mornings and afternoons have seen the most action. While it is a bit early, more large fish are moving in by the day. Martha’s Vineyard has been a hot spot for larger Stripers recently. Expect the fishing to only get better over the next 2 weeks! The Bluefish have begun to show up as well. The numbers are building and it is only a matter of time before the fishing gets really hot. Nantucket is starting to see some gator blues and while the numbers are thin, they are increasing. Sand Eels seem to be the “buzz bait” right now. They are plentiful and matching the hatch has paid off for most fly anglers. The Rips off Monomoy are producing a lot of fish right now. While most are using spin gear to get down, full sink lines with bigger bait fish or squid patterns will produce.
Rhode Island is the place to be right now. The big fish are all over and the fly fishing has been rock solid. Block Island will be a hotspot. The fish will be stacked amongst the rocks and will crush a well casted fly in the mornings and evenings. The Bluefish numbers have been consistent. While most of these fish are in the 2 to 4 pound range, you could run into Gator Blues off Rhodie on any day, if you are fishing from a boat. So, best to keep some wire and flashy flies just in case.
Point Judith and surrounding areas have been inundated with larger Bass. While they are difficult to locate at times, they are certainly in the area. Watch Hill and Point Judith are seeing larger fish tucked in tight on the higher tides during the low light hours. Morning and evening have been fishing exceptionally well, if you are in the right place. You are more likely to get on larger fish if you are fishing from a boat. Covering water has been the key to success. “Searching” with a hookless popper and throwing the fly when fish respond is the most efficient method. It is prime time off Rhody right now. No doubt about it.
The Mainstem is running around 1,200, the East is at 415, and the West Branch is at 530 CFS as of 06/18. Those are good wadable levels, but expect the fishing to be tough despite good flows. The water is warming quickly and really the only game in town will be the West Branch. The most prolific hatch will be Sulphurs. They are prevalent in upper Main and will in both branches. Cahills, caddis, and BWOs will make up the majority of the insects coming off this week. There are Iso Bicolors coming off as well. Fishing has been very tough recently. The fish on the West Branch have been beat up pretty good. There are a lot of anglers out there right now and the fish are educated. Having multiple patterns of one type of bug is very advantageous right now. The East and Mainstem are getting warm, so the West is by far the “best” place to fish, but expect crowds and picky fish.
The Willow and Beaverkill are warming up quite a bit. If you do fish these rivers, consider only fishing in the morning and late afternoon. Same hatches on the Delaware will hold true for the Beaverkill and Willowemoc.
The Stripers are headed East and West. The Western Sound seems to be slowing with Montauk beginning to show some serious action. The Race and Plum Gut are seeing some really nice fish. The rocks around Gardiners Island are seeing some great action as well. While the larger fish seem to hold in 40 feet or deeper, they are being found in the shallows in the early morning and late evening hours. There are plenty of schoolies around as well to keep the rods bent, but always be prepared for a cow Striper to suck down your fly at this time of year. You never know what you are going to hook!
There are substantial numbers of larger fish infiltrating New York and more are on the way. So, keep those larger flies in your box and with any concerted effort, you should be able to get into some larger class fish. They have been on Bunker schools. Using the bait and switch with hookless poppers has been working well in taking some larger fish on fly. The Bluefish have come in thick. While most are not huge, there are plenty of them. They seem to be 2 to 4 pounders. A great 8 wt fish, but make sure you have wire on and durable flies. For the shore based anglers there have been no shortage of options. Back bays, harbor mouths, beaches, breachways, and salt ponds have all been producing good action. Peconic Bay has some larger fish on the flats that you can sight-cast to. Shinnecock Bay has been loaded with schoolies. But again, remember to fish low-light hours.
The Farmington is looking very good at the moment. The flows are a bit low, around 320 CFS with the input from the Still. However, that is still a very fishable level. Based on the bugs coming off, the fishing should be awesome. For dries, there are certainly lots of options depending on where you are on the river. There are lots of tan and green caddis coming off. Expect to see the caddis coming off in the mornings and fish rising on them in the softer sections or eddies. BWOs are always a factor as well, especially on cloudier days. The strongest hatch will be Sulphurs. There are some Isos coming off as well, but it’s a trickle hatch and still down the river a ways. Also consider bringing the terrestrial box from now on. There are certainly ants and beetles crawling around! While July seems to be “terrestrial month,” fishing an ant or beetle in the blind can be surprisingly effective during the middle of the day. If nothing else, it is a great searching pattern that will move fish and allow you to get a bead on them. From there you can deploy a more precise tactic or drop a nymph below it. Church, Chair Factory, Halfords, Greenwoods, Pipeline, and the Boneyard are all putting up some really nice fish. The bigger, wild Browns are what you go up there for, but getting these fish will mean a very early morning and a long day. That being said, there is plenty of water on this river and anglers have been doing well by fishing on the move. Fishing “B” or “C” water and hitting multiple pockets while covering water has often been the key to success. That is certainly the case now. Water temps are good and the fish will be spread out into faster feeding lies. Consider deploying this tactic from now on, especially as crowds swell to peak in June and July. As mentioned before the Farmington has a long Catch and Release Only section making it a great choice this time of year. While you can expect a lot of spin anglers to be up there as well, there is plenty of water to fish where there will be fewer anglers around.Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housatonic came back up after the rain on Tuesday, but not by much. It is running around 430 CFS. Despite the rain, the fish will be stressed during the mid-day hours. The thermal refuges are now in effect and the trout should really be left alone for the summer. If you do plan on targeting trout, please do so in the mornings and call it quits by 11am. The Smallies have been more than making up for declining trout fishing. They are hammering poppers in the mornings and afternoons. Try targeting these fish with surface flies - it is an absolute blast. Mid-day tends to find the Smallies the least active. Fishing weighted streamers with sink tips should keep those rods bent. The Pike are still holding their own and taking well-presented flies to those willing to use heavy rods all day. Covering water and matching the appropriate fly to the conditions are the keys to success.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
Things are slowing down quite a bit on the larger Striper side of things. We are also approaching the Summer doldrums for the Western Sound - that is for sure. The majority of the larger fish have moved to the East and while there are still some stragglers, we are past the meat of the big fish push. The next few months will prove to be the most challenging as the fish that are still around will typically be looking for deep, cold water. The bite will also be an early-morning or an afternoon-into-evening bite. Smaller Blues and schoolie Bass are everywhere however, keeping it interesting for the shore-based fly anglers. But remember, mornings and evenings are the prime bite window. Very little is happening at mid-day. While the Sound still provides some good opportunities on the right day, the majority of our serious anglers are headed East and it may not be a bad idea to follow suit.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.